Browse our edit of the best sustainable Christmas gifts to buy in 2022, so you can find thoughtful presents that won't hurt the planet.
Implementing ethical shopping practices might be doable for most of the year, but when it comes to Christmas - when you just can’t avoid buying presents for multiple people in your life - it can be more difficult. Think of that last-minute rush to buy a suitably cheap secret Santa present on the way to the work Christmas party, or the masses of used wrapping paper that piles up by Boxing Day, causing unnecessary waste.
These eco-conscious gifts suit all interests, making them the perfect Christmas gifts for friends who fight for a greener planet. Many are reasonably priced too, so they're great picks if you're looking for cheap Christmas gifts.
How can Christmas gifts be sustainable?
The most ethical way to shop is to reduce the amount you buy, asking yourself what you really need, and then making sure that what you do buy will last for a long time. When shopping for friends, partners or family members, really think about what gifts they’ll benefit from. Once you’ve decided on a thoughtful gift, research the sustainability practices of the brand; these are usually fairly easy to find, but if you’re unsure, you could always contact the retailer and ask how they are helping the planet.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of thoughtful, unique and sustainable gifts for your loved ones this Christmas (and beyond), from brands who pride themselves on ethical practices.
Best sustainable Christmas gift ideas in the US
- The Little Market: An ethical hub for small, artisan brands which works with different charities and initiatives across the world
- Not on the High Street: Shop unique, often handmade gifts from this popular site
- Etsy: Supporting small businesses is great for the planet: find the best of the bunch on Etsy
- MyEcoHub: A dedicated hub for green shopping
- Vestiaire Collective: Thousands of second-hand and vintage items from designer, high-end brands on this sustainable site
- Green Eco Dream: Shop eco-friendly beauty and homeware products, as well as curated sustainable gift boxes
- Pact: Sustainable, high-quality clothing, from leggings to workwear
- Earth Hero: Shop eco-friendly homeware and bedding that won't break the bank
- Made Trade: Home accessories, essentials and thoughtful gifts from this woman-owned brand
Our pick of the best sustainable gifts in the US
1. Patagonia Los Gatos Quarter-Zip Fleece: View at Patagonia
RRP: $109 | Delivery: Shipped within 1-2 days | Refundable: No time limit on returns
In an unprecedented move earlier this year, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard handed over his company to a charitable trust, and further profits that the brand makes will go towards fighting climate change. As the website states: “Earth is now our only shareholder”. Because of this, there couldn’t be a better time to gift one of Patagonia’s long-lasting, snug fleeces; this high-pile fleece is made from 100% recycled polyester and will last for years to come.
2. Le Creuset Mini Cocotte: View at Le Creuset
RRP: $32 | Delivery: 4-6 days | Refundable: Within 45 days of purchase
Le Creuset products are lovingly hand-crafted and made from recycled iron and steel. This adorable mini ramekin is perfect for mini crumbles, pies or soufflés, making it a great family Christmas gift idea. The brand's products are designed to withstand high heat in the oven without damaging the carefully crafted materials, and they’re dishwasher-safe.
3. Veja Rio Branco Alveomesh Sneakers: View at Veja
RRP: $145 | Delivery: 4-6 days | Refundable: Within 28 days of delivery
Made from materials such as rubber and rice waste, recycled polyester and organic cotton, Veja is known for its eco-friendly practices and stylish designs. These shoes are breathable and comfortable enough to wear for any occasion, and this pair is coated with non-toxic water-repellent oils, which will protect the sneakers in drizzly weather. One of the best white trainers brands out there, they know their stuff when it comes to constructing shoes.
4. Fjallraven Kånken Mini Backpack: View at Urban Outfitters
RRP: $70 | Delivery: 5-8 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of delivery
The best way to shop sustainably is to ensure that the products you’re buying will last for a long time, and are not simply throw-away items. Fjallraven aims to use recycled and sustainable materials for their iconic bags, which are well-known to last years and years. In 2012 they stopped using fluorocarbons, which harm the environment; they joined the Fair Labor Association the next year, an organization that supports workers’ rights. This ubiquitous bag is appropriate for all ages but it's one of our favorite Christmas gifts for teenagers thanks to the brand's extensive range of colorways.
- View Falljraven Kånken Mini Backpack at Urban Outfitters
- View Falljraven Kånken Mini Backpack at Amazon
5. Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Toner: View at Farmacy
RRP: $30 | Delivery: Overnight shipping available | Refundable: Within 30 days of delivery
Sustainable skincare is a must not just for those wanting to save the planet, but for anyone who wants to avoid pumping dangerous ingredients into their skin. This BHA toner is alcohol-free, features cruelty-free ingredients like moringa seed extract and papaya enzyme, and is particularly suited to oily or acne-prone skin. Farmacy Beauty also encourages its customers to send used and washed caps and pump parts back to them for reuse purposes, so the bottle is 100% recyclable.
6. Reusable Chopsticks: View at Amazon
RRP: $6.98 | Delivery: 2-6 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of receipt
Sure, you can save the disposable chopsticks that come every time a delivery arrives, but your loved one will feel much more fancy using these lovingly-made, reusable wooden chopsticks while they eat their ramen. Reviews also state that they’re dishwasher-safe.
7. Baggu Reusable Shopping Bag: View at Baggu
RRP: $14 | Delivery: 7-10 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Baggu’s reusable bags are an alternative to bulky canvas shopping bags or plastic, disposable ones when you forget your own at the shop. They carry 2-3 bags’ worth of groceries (that’s 2-3 standard, plastic carrier bags), or up to 50lbs, and they’re made from 100% recycled nylon. You can even wash them in the washing machine, so they will genuinely last a loved one for years to come. They’re also not just for shopping trips; there are 50 patterns and colorways to choose from, and they’re inconspicuous enough to be used as an everyday bag. They also fold up into a small pouch - preferable to the overflowing bag-filled-with-other-bags under the kitchen sink. You really can't go wrong with this versatile bag, making it an excellent Christmas gift for her.
8. Rosemary and Seat Salt Refillable Candle: View at Etsy
RRP: $39.99 | Delivery: 7-23 days | Refundable: Within 14 days of delivery
Make a candle gift more sustainable by opting for a refillable one. This candle features only two components: biodegradable soy wax and pure essential oils. The burn time is 40 hours, but once the candle is empty, your loved one can simply refill it and enjoy it for longer.
9. Avocado Pod: View at Amazon
RRP: $7.49 | Delivery: 2-6 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Designed to stretch to the desired shape, this silicone pod allows you to keep half-eaten avocados in the fridge without turning brown immediately - a perfect Christmas gift for the coworker who always has an avocado at lunch. It also removes the need to use plastic or foil wrapping.
10. Simply Green Beeswax Food Wraps: View at Target
RRP: $12.99 | Delivery: From 2 days | Refundable: WIthin 9 days of purchase
Place one of these colorful beeswax wraps over a bowl of leftovers, wrap sandwiches or cheeses as an eco-friendly alternative to clingfilm or foil, which can be harmful for the environment. The warmth of your hands allows the wraps to mold to any shape, before being stored in a cool environment. This pack feature wraps in three different sizes and can be used up to 100 times, as they’re easily washed using cold water and soap, before being reused.
11. Socks That Plant Trees: View at Conscious Step
RRP: $34.96 | Delivery: 3-5 days Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Bamboo socks can be found anywhere these days, but socks made from more ‘traditional’ materials can still be kind to the planet. These socks from Conscious Steps are made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, and the brand never tests on animals, while being certified by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard. Even better, their socks support several different charities by donating profits from their sock sales: you can shop by cause, making this gift even more personal by choosing an organization close to the recipient’s heart. For each pair of this pack that's purchased, four trees are planted.
12. Coyuchi Air Weight Organic Towel: View at Coyuchi
RRP: $48 | Delivery: 5-7 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Coyuchi’s towels are made from 100% organic cotton, which is woven and grown in India and is certified by GOTS and the FairTrade Foundation. There are lots of different sizing options to choose from, from washcloths to bath sheets and several different colors. Coyuchi also repurposes several of its products from recycled fabrics, returned to them by previous customers.
13. 925 Sterling Silver Freshwater Pearl and Crystal Stone Femme Necklace: View at Naledi
RRP: $74 | Delivery: 4-7 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of delivery
If you're still trying to find the perfect, sustainable Christmas gift for mom, look no further than Naledi. Naledi focuses on limited production runs, based on demand, meaning the brand doesn't produce more stock than necessary which could result in harmful waste. All items are also wrapped using recyclable packaging and they plant a tree for each order placed in areas worldwide suffering from deforestation. This simple, yet stunning, sterling silver necklace features two tiny pendants: a white crystal and a genuine freshwater pearl. The fact that the chains are made using only natural materials means that no two pieces will be exactly the same, making this gift even more unique and thoughtful.
14. The Cradle Studio Pique Blanket in Sunday Brunch: View at Wolf & Badger
RRP: $109 | Delivery: Varies due to independent brands | Refundable: Within 14 days of delivery
Wolf and Badger, a hub for independent brands, lets you shop by sustainability status, so you can ensure that your gift matches the highest ethical standards. This large, soft blanket is made from 100% premium cotton, in a family-run factory that uses solar power to manufacture its products. The packaging is also sustainable, and no toxic dyes were used to make the blanket. A good Christmas gift for the mother in law who has everything.
Alkeme Atelier Vegan Leather Round Crossbody Bag: View at Immaculate Vegan
RRP: £75 | Delivery: 3-10 days | Refundable: Within 14 days
This stylish handbag is made from 70% recycled materials, such as recycled wood fiber and pre-consumer recycled polyester, which would otherwise have been wasted and ended up in landfill. Sustainability is at the heart of the brand's production process, but their vegan leather products are just as durable as real leather.
Where to find the best sustainable Christmas gifts in the UK
- Wolf & Badger: A hub for independent brands that lets you shop by sustainability
- Depop: The best way to shop sustainably is second-hand - find vintage and pre-loved goods here
- The Body Shop: Beauty and skincare that's dedicated to helping the planet
- Lush: Vegan, cruelty-free and environmentally-kind bath and shower products (and more)
- Not on the High Street: Thoughtful gifts they won't expect from a hub that supports small businesses
- Veo: Shop over 270 ethical brands, from high-end pieces to food and drink
- Wearth London: Etsy-style collection of independent brands with lots of unique gift boxes
- Beauty Naturals: Shop lots of natural, eco-friendly beauty and skincare products from this affordable directory
Our pick of the best sustainable Christmas gifts in the UK
1. TALA Skinluxe High-Waisted Legging in Khaki: View at TALA
RRP: £54 | Delivery: Next-day available | Refundable: Within 30 days of delivery
Founded by UK-based entrepreneur Grace Beverley, TALA prides itself on using only ethical practices to produce its popular workout wear, but without the hefty price tag of some other sustainable brands. Since launching, TALA has expanded to swimwear, outerwear and even hats, but the leggings remain unmatched for comfort. They feel like a second skin with a compression-feel fit, yet they are thick and durable enough for any workout. The SkinLuxe leggings are made from 76% recycled nylon and 24% Lycra, so they’re stretchy yet sustainable, and even have a zipped pocket at the back for a phone.
2. Vegan Recipes Gift Box: View at Wearth London
RRP: £13 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 14 days of delivery
If your loved one is testing the waters of plant-based cooking, they may be at a loss with where to start. This gift box features recipe cards for quick, easy, and inexpensive dishes such as coconut daal, butternut squash curry, and spiced aubergine bake. The spices range from cumin seeds and garam masala to coriander seeds and garlic powder, so whoever receives this gift will have everything they need to make delicious recipes all year round. For more foodie ideas, head to our Christmas food gifts guide, many of which are sustainable.
3. WUKA Period Swimsuit: View at WUKA
RRP: £49.99 | Delivery: 2-5 days | Refundable: Within 40 days of purchase
Not being able to swim while menstruating is frustrating for lots of people. WUKA’s period swimsuit holds up to 15ml - or two small tampons’ worth - of blood, but the suit looks, and feels, just like regular swimwear. The flattering and practical cut is reminiscent of a Speedo swimsuit; one reviewer wrote that they wished the product had been around when they were younger, but that their daughter absolutely loved it.
4. Delicate Daisy Chain Hoops: View at Atypical Thing
RRP: £28 | Delivery: 4-7 days (each purchase is made-to-order within one week of purchase) | Refundable: No
A truly unique gift, this Birmingham-based brand offers jewelry that's completely handmade, meaning that no two pieces will be the same. These understated earrings are made with recycled metal, using traditional silversmithing techniques. They arrive in a recyclable cotton jewelry bag and plastic-free packaging, too.
5. Wild Refillable Deodorant: View at Wild
RRP: From £15 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Gift your loved one a Wild refillable deodorant (or a subscription) and they’ll be helping the planet every morning. You can opt for a bundle or ‘starter pack’, or build your own. Simply choose the case's design, pick a scent from a selection including pomegranate and pink peppercorn, mint and aloe vera or coconut and vanilla, and either settle for a one-off purchase or subscribe so they can receive refills in the post. For every deodorant Wild sells, they will contribute a percentage of the sale to a climate charity that works on reforestation. Add an engraving to the case - which will be used for years to come - to add an extra thoughtful touch.
6. Stay Wild Sierra Bikini Top: View at Stay Wild Swim
RRP: £60 | Delivery: 4-6 days | Refundable: Within 14 days of purchase (except sale items)
While their products aren’t exactly cheap, the female-founded small business Stay Wild Swim is wholly dedicated to sustainability. The brand's swimwear is made from regenerated yarn from nylon waste that would otherwise harm the planet, such as fishing nets and industrial plastics. The Sierra bikini top is designed to mix and match with other products from the brand, or an existing pair of bottoms.
6. Hot Pink Bra and Neon Yellow Knicker Set: View at Stripe and Stare
RRP: £35 | Delivery: Next-day available | Refundable: Within 28 days of purchase (if product is unworn)
This t-shirt bra and knicker set is made from fibers extracted from naturally grown beech wood, meaning it’s 95% biodegradable and arrives in a recycled gift box. Supposedly more than twice as soft as cotton, the material is also breathable enough to be worn for exercise, and comfortable enough to slouch around in at weekends. The bra is unwired, meaning there are no materials inside it that could harm the environment (and make for an even more comfortable wear).
7. Fenty Skin Cookies n Clean Whipped Clay Mask: View at Fenty Skin
RRP: £25 | Delivery: 4-8 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Made from ingredients like clay, charcoal and extracts of rhubarb and ginger, Fenty Skin’s Cookies n Clean clay mask transforms from a white color to grey when it’s rubbed into the skin, to be left to do its magic for 10-15 minutes before rinsing. Rihanna’s skincare and make-up brand is highly regarded in the industry, and this product is an award-winner, so you know it’ll be kind to your loved one’s skin. Regarding sustainability, the mask is free from microbeads that harm the environment, recyclable, vegan, fragrance-free, and contains recycled materials. If your other half is into skincare, a selection of Fenty Skin products is among one of the best Christmas gifts for your wife that we can think of.
8. Faith in Nature Natural Hemp and Meadowfoam Shampoo and Conditioner Set: View at Amazon
RRP: £12 | Delivery: Next-day available | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Faith in Nature is dedicated to not using parabens or any other damaging ingredients, and the company's products are always vegan, natural and cruelty-free. Hemp and meadowfoam are vitamin E-rich ingredients that nourish and repair the hair, while ginger, citrus and lemongrass essential oils not only cleanse the hair thoroughly but also make it smell great.
- View Natural Hemp and Meadowfoam Shampoo and Conditioner Set at Faith in Nature
- View Natural Hemp and Meadowfoam Shampoo and Conditioner Set at Amazon
9. The Vintage Box Subscription: View at The Sustainable Book Club
RRP: £25 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Email retailer for more information
For the bookworm friend, this subscription service is truly unique. Gift the first box - and add a gift message before checking out - and if your loved one can’t get enough, they can choose to subscribe for long thereafter. Each box comes with a pre-loved vintage book, a hand-made bookmark (made from recycled plastic bottles), a selection of drinkable and edible snacks, e.g. some Bird & Blend tea bags and a Pip & Nut bar, and two special additions: a postcard or something similar. You can even cater the box to your loved ones’ interests, by requesting a book that features a certain theme, and 10% of all profits are donated to charity.
10. Booja Booja Artist Collection Fine de Champagne Truffles: View at Amazon
RRP: Next-day delivery available | Delivery: 12-17 days | Refundable: No
Booja Booja chocolate truffles are vegan, organic, and free from palm oil, gluten and soya, but still completely indulgent - especially this champagne-flavoured option. They also come in a particularly fancy-looking box.
11. Flutterby T-Shirt: View at Everpress
RRP: £26 | Delivery: 2-5 business days (once the campaign ends) | Refundable: Contact retailer for more information
Everpress works with local artists and designers, whose designs make their way onto their comfortable t-shirts, before a ‘campaign’ begins, allowing pre-orders for the items. Once the campaign ends, all the t-shirts are shipped; if a design is particularly popular, they may decide to produce more, but for the most part, they will only do one ‘run’ of each design. Only producing the amount of stock that they need, this is an innovative way to reduce deadstock and clothes waste piling up in landfill sites, which happens with lots of fast fashion manufacturers. The brand's manufacturing processes also reduce CO2 emissions by 90%, making their t-shirts completely guilt-free (and stylish). Browse the collection if you're looking for a truly unique 18th birthday gift for a teen who likes to stand out from crowd.
12. Chilly's Stainless Steel Keep Cup: View at Urban Outfitters
RRP: £20 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of dispatch
Chilly’s is known for making some of the best water bottles, but the brand also offers stainless steel keep cups in various colors. Due to the double-walled design of the cup, your loved one’s drinks will stay hot without burning their fingers. The same color is also available in a stainless steel bottle and even a food pot for storing leftovers.
13. Lush Snow Fairy Gift Set: View at Lush
RRP: £13 | Delivery: 2-4 days | Refundable: Yes
Lush has long been a go-to for vegan, cruelty-free gifts. Their iconic ‘snow fairy’ bath bomb is accompanied here by the snow fairy shower gel, and both come gift-wrapped in a suitably festive box: the gift wrapping is made from 100% recycled polyester (made from recycled drinks bottles) and 100% recycled paper.
14. Organic Corduroy Dusky Pink Dungarees: View at Lucy & Yak
RRP: £59 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Nearly 100% of Lucy & Yak’s products are either organic or recycled, and the bag they come in when delivered is 100% recycled and easily reusable. The brand is known for empowering clothing, size-inclusive garments and funky prints, without compromising on comfort. Though the brand admits that it's not unwaveringly perfect when it comes to sustainability, they claim that they are working towards completely eradicating plastic from all steps of the production and distribution line of its products. Lucy & Yak also encourage customers to return any clothes that they no longer wear, to be recycled and offer a token of up to £20 to use in their stores.
15. Dog Walker's Hand Cream: View at Wearth London
RRP: £12 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 14 days of delivery
A great gift for dog lovers, this hand cream is specifically for the chapped, dry hands of dog walkers - perfect for a post dog walk during icier temperatures this winter. Made in the UK, this hand cream is vegan-friendly, plastic-free, and created using only natural, organic ingredients.